Common Dental Issues Found in Young Children

Common Dental Issues Found in Young Children
Posted on 12/10/2020
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As a parent, you likely set a standard for your child's dental health. Children mirror what they see, and you can demonstrate the need for excellent dental care.

Of course, children might have dental issues that are genetic or linked to other habits. Children also face a number of dental issues that often do not affect adults. Additionally, children are often not dedicated to brushing their teeth as part of a routine without somebody watching to make sure they do it correctly.

No matter the reason for many of these dental issues, you might notice these common issues developing in your child.


Cavities are common in both adults and children, but children are more likely to have cavities because of not brushing their teeth. Children are also at a higher likelihood for cavities because the enamel on temporary teeth is not as strong as the enamel on permanent adult teeth. This allows tooth decay to wreak havoc.

The CDC suggests that about 20% of children ages 5 to 11 have at least one untreated tooth with decay. Parents can remedy cavities by encouraging the use of fluoride toothpaste and demonstrating proper brushing techniques. Speaking with a dentist about a high number of cavities is helpful too.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is a serious concern for children too. Plaque builds up on the teeth when it is not brushed away, ultimately causing the gums to swell or even bleed. Gingivitis can lead to gum recession, which comes with its own assortment of problems.

Gingivitis is common in children, and brushing and mouthwash are both helpful. Regular dental visits (at least twice per year) will help too.

Bottle Decay

If your child goes to bed with a bottle of liquid, it may cause more tooth decay than you think. Decay is often linked to sipping on sugary drinks, but even milk and formula impact cavities. This can impact even very young children.

You can help prevent decay from baby bottles by choosing less sugary drinks, like water, for your child. You should also avoid giving your child a bottle as they go to bed, but if you need to provide a bottle, water is the best choice. You can also wipe your child's gums with a clean gauze pad.

Thumb Sucking

Children commonly suck their thumbs when they are young, but this can be detrimental over time. As teeth begin to grow in, thumb sucking can actually push these new teeth out of alignment. In some cases, this can even lead to an overbite and cause permanent speech issues.

Thumb sucking is a habit that parents can help stop early. Some children benefit by finding new ways to self-soothe, like hugging a stuffed animal at bedtime instead. Understanding the need for a child to comfort themselves is important.

Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth make it difficult to eat or drink items that are either too hot or too cold. This is common in children because the thin enamel on their teeth wears down easily, often leading to cracks and gum recession that worsen sensitivity.

Certain kinds of toothpaste may help people with sensitivity. In addition to plaque buildup, tooth sensitivity can also be linked to having gingivitis, using whitening products, and eating acidic foods. Take note of products your child use and foods they may eat that could cause tooth issues.

Treasured Smiles Pediatric Dentistry offers dental care for a wide variety of pediatric patients. Make an appointment today to learn more about caring for your child's teeth from day one. We look forward to helping your child have the best smile they can!

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